Francis M. Gibbons

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Francis “Frank” Marion Gibbons was a secretary to the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1970 until 1986. He was retired for one week when he was called as a general authority of the Church.

Gibbons was born in St. Johns, Arizona, on April 10, 1921. He served in the U.S. Navy. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the Stanford University and his juris doctor degree from the University of Utah. He had been practicing law in Utah for eighteen years when he was told that the First Presidency was looking for a new secretary by Joseph Anderson, who had filled that position. Anderson told him that the Brethren wanted a mature man who knew shorthand. At 17, Gibbons had trained as a court recorder and had used it throughout his education and law career. He accepted the job and served with four presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson.

Gibbons was called as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 6, 1986. When the Second Quorum of the Seventy was formed in 1989, he was transferred into that quorum. He was honorably released from service on October 5, 1991.

He is the author of numerous books and biographies of the Church presidents, including Joseph Smith: Martyr-Prophet of God; Brigham Young: Modern Moses, Prophet of God; John Taylor: Mormon Philosopher, Prophet of God; Wilford Woodruff: Wondrous Worker, Prophet of God; Lorenzo Snow: Spiritual Giant, Prophet of God; Joseph F. Smith: Patriarch and Preacher, Prophet of God; Heber J. Grant: Man of Steel, Prophet of God; George Albert Smith: Kind and Caring Christian, Prophet of God; David O. McKay: Apostle to the World, Prophet of God; Joseph Fielding Smith: Gospel Scholar, Prophet of God; Harold B. Lee: Man of Vision, Prophet of God; Spencer W. Kimball: Resolute Disciple, Prophet of God; Ezra Taft Benson: Statesman, Patriot, Prophet of God; Howard W. Hunter: Man of Thought and Independence, Prophet of God. He also wrote Dynamic Disciples, Prophets of God: Life Stories of the Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; The Spiritual Dimensions of America; The Expanding Church: Three Decades of Remarkable Growth Among the Latter-Day Saints; Martha: A Historical Novel; and a biography of Jack Anderson.

He and his wife, Helen, are the parents of four children. He passed away in his sleep on July 16, 2016, at his home in Salt Lake City.